Family Caregivers: A qualitative study to better understand the quality-of-life concerns and needs of this population

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While providing physical, psychological, and spiritual care to their loved ones with cancer, family caregivers (FCGs) are physically and emotionally vulnerable to the tolls of caregiving. Patients and FCGs experience the uncertainty that comes with illness and treatment, its side effects, the lack of control, the emotional upheaval, the spiritual doubt, and the helplessness of advancing disease.

OBJECTIVES:

This study was conducted to better understand the quality-of-life needs of the FCG population, particularly those who encounter financial strain related to patients' cancer and treatment.

METHODS:

This qualitative study of FCG concerns was conducted in association with a randomized trial of an FCG support intervention. Twenty FCGs of patients with solid tumor cancers were interviewed in person or via telephone for this study. The FCG version of the City of Hope quality-of-life tool, which consists of four domains of well-being (physical, psychological, social, spiritual), was applied to the content analysis of interviews.

FINDINGS:

Care for FCGs is needed across all quality-of-life domains.

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